Everyone who knows me knows that I am an avid traveler. I travel a lot, usually a few times per year (I would love to travel more though…I’m working on that lol). Last year I visited France (Marseille and Nice), Italy (Naples, Rome and Pisa), Spain, Cancun, Martha’s Vineyard and Atlantic City (hey, AC counts lol). This year I’m going to Morocco, Vegas, Cali, Key West and Panama. I’m also thinking about adding one or two more trips in there somewhere. I am always being asked by people how I’m able to travel so much. Honestly, anyone can travel as much as they want. Here are a few tips on how you can do it too.
#1 Make Travel a Priority.
The truth is traveling is not always easy and it takes a lot of planning. You can always find a certified travel agent like myself (shameless plug lol) to help you put everything together or you can do it yourself. If you decide to do it yourself, make sure that you make it a priority, work at it often and plan far in advance. Just like anything else (earning a degree, getting out of debt, working out, etc) unless you make it a priority, the chance of it being a reality will become slim to none.
#2 Build a Travel Fund
The number 1 excuse I hear people say regarding why they don’t travel, or travel a lot, is because they don’t have the money to. To me, this is the one excuse that doesn’t make any sense. The reason being is that these are the same people going out several times a week or telling me this while wearing head to toe designer labels…see where I’m heading? Like I said in #1, you have to make travel a priority. Instead of going out several times a week, save that money…instead of buying that new purse, take that money and go on a cruise (it might cost you less to go on that cruise!). Set up a travel fund at your local bank or online and put aside a set amount out of each paycheck. It could be as little as $25 a check but make sure that you stick with this amount and don’t touch it until you are ready to travel!
#3 Decide Where You Want To Go
This is the easy part. Where do you or you and your friends, want to go? Do you want to eat pizza in Naples where pizza was created? (that was on my bucket list and I was able to accomplish it last year) Do you want to party in Rio? Snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef, climb Mount Kilimanjaro or run with the bulls in Spain?
Where, when you think of it, makes your heart skip a beat? Where ever that is, go there! As soon as you decide your destination, request off work immediately and start planning.
Calculate the costs of everything in advance! Flights, lodging (which varies widely from hostels to luxury hotels), food, entertainment, activities, souvenirs, and incidentals. This will give you an idea of how much you need and how quickly you need to save for it. You need to budget everything in advance because things can get financially out of hand real quick..like when I ran out of money in Spain a few years ago because I didn’t take in to account how much significantly different the euro was compared to the dollar smh.
#5 Look for Flight Deals
Even though I’m a travel agent, my friend Dawn is the airline deals specialists (I’m blessed to have friends that travel as much as me, if not more). The best tip that I can give you though is to check Kayak.com and Skyscanner a few times a day everyday for a few weeks (flight prices can change hour to hour) and as soon as the flight you want gets low enough..book it right away.
#6 Plan Your Time
Decide how you want to spend your time once you reach your destination. I usually read reviews, blogs, etc to see what there is to do in a particular place. I do this just to get an idea of how I want to spend my trip but I also keep my schedule very flexible. If there is something that I know that I don’t want to miss, like a show or visiting a museum, I’ll find out the time, ticket information, etc but for the most part I never have a rigid schedule. This is because you never know who or what you will see when you get there or you may decide once arriving, that you just want to lay on the beach all day.
#7 Find People to Hang Out With
If you are traveling solo or with friends, you will always meet people while traveling. You can meet them anywhere, in your hotel, at a restaurant, club, etc. In all my travels, I’ve met some wonderful people to have conversation with, dance with, or to recommend places. If you keep a smile on your face, a friendly disposition and are open and welcoming…you will have no problems making new friends.
#8 Just GO!
And the last tip is the simplest. Just Go! Don’t make any excuses! There is a big wide world out there and it’s waiting on you to go see it. Happy Travels!!